On Something Different

It's finals so I think I've earned a beak from the beer blog to re-post old stuff. Without further ado I give you the definition of a word you sorely need in your vocabulary.

Here’s a super useful verb I bet you don’t know: ‘hogan’. You’ve probably never heard it before. It’s a word that isn’t used much outside my immediate family, but it could be vital to anybody cohabiting with other human beings. To hogan something is to “leave a pitiful, unsatisfactory amount of that thing behind”. For example if your partner drinks all but a meager mouthful of the milk then returns the bag to the fridge despite all decency,  you can say, “you bastard, you hoganed the milk.” If you are the rebellious party who drank the majority of the milk but really don’t feel like changing the bag then you can say, “I’m hoganing the milk and there’s not a thing you can do about it”.  

 It's clear to me that there aren't enough cookies here. Why on earth wouldn't you eat the last one? And what's with the crumbs?

It's clear to me that there aren't enough cookies here. Why on earth wouldn't you eat the last one? And what's with the crumbs?

The word was coined by a kid named Simon, a close personal friend throughout my formative years. He was a tad eccentric and had an odd habit of coming up with interesting, if rarely useful, words. “Hogan” was one of the last words he came up with before he discovered the joys of alcohol and re-focused his energies toward the development of disgusting mixed drinks*. If the term sounds remarkably similar to the proper noun Hogan, it is because we find its roots in that name. You see, Simon had a half-brother named Hogan**, who would stay at his house every second weekend. Hogan would invariably eat most of the food available to him, always leaving a little bit at the bottom of the box, bag, jar et cetera. Simon, being a pubescent teen at the time, expressed deep resentment at being forced to achieve sustenance by munching the remains of Hogan’s leavings. He became so frustrated that he decided to bring shame upon his sibling by forever associating Hogan’s name with the despicable act of leaving an insultingly small quantity of something behind.

There are many other uses of the word which serve to deepen its relevance. “Hogan” can also be applied as a label, as in “Jerry is such a hoganer”. This sentence implies that Jerry, like Hogan, often hogans. If Jerry’s hoganing continues unabated, in addition to dirty looks cast at him over the breakfast table, he may be subjected to the intensified form of the label as in, “Jerry is a hogan”. This form of the word expresses maximum distaste for Jerry’s misuse of shared household consumables by drawing a direct line between Jerry and the titular Hogan.

The astounding utility of this word cannot be overstated. Imagine you are en route to the pantry late at night to partake in the joys of after-hour graham crackers. When you open the box, you find only a single graham cracker sitting lonely at the bottom of the sleeve. You are frustrated; eating one graham cracker is not going to put a dent in your hunger for the golden goodness. If anything, eating a singular cracker will remind your body of the sweet honey taste and crumbly texture, driving your craving to new heights. You will stand in shock, aware that finding a solitary graham cracker is somehow worse than finding no graham crackers at all. You are beyond disappointment. A rage builds within you directed at the one who lacked the common decency to chow down on that final cracker, who instead left you saddled with this cruel mockery of your hunger. Until now English has had no words to describe this oh so common human emotion. Now, as you let the nearly empty sleeve fall from your grip and the inescapable wave of despair takes hold, you can at least give voice to your predicament: “My crackers have been hoganed!”

*This was in the late years of high school, and we as his friends were subjected to his concoctions at every party. Some of these were quite good; I have fond memories of“the iceberg” which involved floating a 7-up slushy from the local Quickie on a mixture of vodka and blue curacao, but most were far from palatable. I remember with particular horror a phase where he became obsessed with exploding drinks. It started benignly enough with an attempt at recreating the pan-galactic-gargle-blaster, a mixture of dry gin and pop rocks, but quickly turned sour when Simon discovered the volatile combination of diet coke and Mentos.

**I have it on good authority that this dude hoganed all the flipping time. Like, this guy had an unparalleled ability to eat almost all of everything. He once left a single bite of a Kit-kat on the coffee table, not a full stick but a single thumbnail sized piece. In short: he was history’s greatest monster.


Conor Rochon

Conor is not an alcoholic. He is an engaged and passionate person who does about half as much distraught navel-gazing as this blog would suggest. He has an aptitude for communication and a passion for storytelling. When he finds he has free time he plays silly games and enjoys good beer.

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